In 1955, an article called “The Good Wife’s Guide” was published in Housekeeping Monthly, providing minute general instructions on how a wife should please her husband in her overall behavior. It included tips such as having dinner on the table when he arrives home from work and speaking in a soothing voice. Pretty cringe, right?
While most modern women recoil at this, some women – even feminists – have also raised concerns in recent years regarding the current climate for women. They question whether today’s situation is any better than what women experienced in past generations.
The Sexual Revolution changed everything. Things are different now, yes, but is it really any better?
Understanding the Sexual Revolution
The swinging 60s brought about a sexual revolution that changed the game regarding relationships. Suddenly, the rules surrounding sex were thrown out the window. You could hook up with anyone, anytime, and for any reason.
And just like that, hookup culture was born, becoming the norm for young people today. Some people argue that this newfound sexual freedom has given women more empowerment.
But has the sexual revolution really empowered women?
Louis Perry, an atheist, and outspoken feminist, says no.
According to Perry, this so-called freedom can be just as oppressive as the prescribed gender roles of the 1950s. Under the guise of sexual freedom, women now face a new set of expectations.
Today women don’t need to have dinner on the table just as he walks in the door. But instead, women are pressured to be what Gillian Flynn coined the “cool girl.”
Flynn says, “Cool Girls are, above all, hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want.”
Hookup Culture and its Consequences:
On mainstream college campuses, where you might say the Sexual Revolution is in full swing, “Sex Weeks” are now the norm, during which various sexual practices are explored, encouraged and pushed on students. Supervising adults teach new fresh girls that with “consent,” anything goes. Do whatever you want.
But critics claim that too often, what girls are usually pressured to do is not what *they want* but what their hookup buddies or boyfriends want – in other words, what the guys want.
With “Consent,” Anything Goes…?
At first, the concept of consent seems like an equalizer. If you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to. If you want to, at least you are free to. This creates an illusion of equality, power, and freedom between the sexes. But appearances can be deceiving, and the reality is often very different.
Our desires can often be easily manipulated by others. For example, it is a long-established fact that pedophiles and pimps can groom women and children to believe, at least at the moment, that they *want* what’s offered. Manipulation tactics have been around for years, and are used by predators to convince, mold, and shape responsive behaviors from their victims.
It is typical for victims to feel convinced that they want to please their abuser or remain in an abusive relationship, for instance. This phenomenon highlights the intricate dynamics of coercion and psychological manipulation, wherein individuals may internalize false desires or convince themselves that they willingly engage in harmful situations.
One Woman’s Struggle with Hookup Culture
Leah Fessler was a student at Middlebury College. Unwilling to commit to celibacy, she convinced herself that emotionless sex was the thing to do. “After I began having sex with these guys, the power balance always tipped. A few hookups in, I began to obsess primarily about the ambiguity of it all… does he like me?… With time inevitably came attachment, and with attachment came shame, anxiety, and emptiness.”
For many people, hookup culture creates an unspoken social code. Neither party is allowed to show commitment or vulnerability – otherwise, you are considered clingy, needy, or even crazy. Yet Fessler and her friends eventually admitted that what they really wanted was true intimacy and public recognition of the relationship. She wrote her senior thesis on the tyranny and emptiness of hookup culture.
100% of her interviewees stated a clear preference for committed relationships over hookup culture.
Fessler is not alone. Yes, it is technically possible for girls to opt-out of hookup culture. But research suggests only a minority do so. To opt-out is to be seen as strange, extreme, or prudish. In other words, it’s not normal. Many young people struggle with the pressure to fit in, to feel “normal” and accepted by their peers.
“In today’s hookup culture, the sexual playing field is not even, but it suits men’s interests to pretend that it is. Women are entitled to be angry.”
– RICK SNEDEKER
Past feminists fought against the objectification of women, exposing the problem of men using and discarding women at their convenience. However, ironically, some present-day feminists have taken a different stance, advocating for women to do the same as a means of asserting their power and equality.
Sadly, this shift often results in women offering their bodies as objects in order to claim their sexual freedom. This creates an ironic situation in which women, therefore, become the very objects they once despised – just to make a point. The truth is that many women today feel used and lonely but ashamed to admit it.
A Third Option
Sadly, many women feel that there are only two choices on the table: either be oppressed by men (as women often were in past generations) or claim a hollow, empty form of sexual freedom.
Oppressed or oppressor. That is what the world is offering women right now.
But God offers something different. The Christian faith has a third option. The Bible tells us that women should be treated the way Christ treats the church, with respect, dignity, kindness, and unconditional love.
At Choices, we believe that you are worth so much more!
One of the most devastating results of hookup culture is the resulting unexpected or unwanted pregnancies. If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy, please contact us at Choices Pregnancy Centers. We are there for you, offering a supportive, non-judgmental environment, and we can help you through every step of the process. Visit our website or make an appointment today!